Chrono Cross Tidbits
Keep in mind that all this information is old, and some is probably either outdated or incorrect in regards to the final American version of Chrono Cross.
Information added on November 1st, 1999:
New information released from Square indicates much closer ties to Chrono Trigger and Radical Dreamers. After the events of the original, Lucca continues her research and inventing, while setting up an orphanage for less-fortunate children. One day, the orphanage is engulfed in flames, and Serge runs in to save Lucca and the children. The only trace of Lucca to be found is her glasses, leaving Serge to figure out what happened to her. This relation of Lucca to the children would explain the crayon drawings of the CT cast, with the drawing of Lucca being labelled as "big sister." In Radical Dreamers, Kid's character was referred to as Lucca's younger sister. It is assumed, since Lucca was apparently an only-child in CT, that Kid was one of the orphans that Lucca took in. Lucca and Queen Marle are confirmed to be returning, with other Chrono Trigger characters expected to make cameo appearances.
Chrono Cross will involve travel over both time and dimensions, hinting that there will be at least two versions of each area/time zone. The item associated with Chrono Cross, like the Chrono Trigger in the original, is the legendary Frozen Flame. At a price, the Frozen Flame will cast the holder's fondest wish. Despite this catch, many devote their lives to searching for it.
The Masamune will also be returning, this time with a little more backstory to it. Apparently, the sword takes the character of whoever holds it. In Chrono Trigger, it's holder, Glenn, was pure of heart, and thus the sword was used for good. Sadly, it's owner in Chrono Cross is on the side of evil. The location of the only sword that can best the Masamune in battle, the Elrazak Dragon Sword, is currently unknown.
Square of Japan's Chrono Cross section has the following text displayed: "In Spring 1995, we crossed time and space. In Winter 1999, we'll cross dimensions. A Chrono to surpass Chrono is coming!" Judging by this, Chrono Cross will likely take place across multiple versions of the same world. The original Chrono Trigger world is revisited twice in the demo. Guardia Castle is seen and mentioned in the final demo sequence (along with the bridge where you fought the Dragon Tank boss,) as is Lucca's house (see below.) Reportedly, Chrono Cross will take place 20 years after the original Chrono Trigger, and there will be a tie-in between the two in the anime sequence of the main ending in the rerelease of Chrono Trigger for the Playstation.
So far, the only known returning character from the original will be Glenn (Frog,) in his human form. However, we also know that Lucca will have some role in the game. In the movie near the end of the demo, we see Serge walking through Lucca's house, which is engulfed in flames. He walks past a wall with childish drawings of the characters from CT. Upon inspection of the picture of Lucca, Serge reads text which states "Please address this person as 'oneechan' (big sister)." He then walks through a doorway into a room where Lucca's glasses lay on the floor, and Yamaneko stands facing the window.
Like the original, the enemies wander on the screen, and you don't enter a battle unless you bump into one. The normal maps are 2D/hand-drawn, while the battles are 3D/polygonal. The battle system itself consists of four commands: Attack, Element, Defend, and Run. The attack system is turn-based, and in many ways similar to that of Xenogears (three different types of attacks, a set amount of stamina points available per turn.) The Element command is a little more original -- rather than displaying magic points, each character has a small histogram that builds up over the course of battle and is decreased whenever Element attacks are used. The stronger your Elemental action, the more your bar is diminished. While a basic heal or attack action might knock your Element bar down a level or two, a stronger attack could completely empty it. There are also Cross attacks, which are basically the same as Dual Techs. The first one you witness in the game is the familiar X-Strike, performed by Glenn and Serge.
Other items of interest in Square's new section include a prominent line which seems to indicate the company isn't intending to stop with simply one new Chrono title: "The first title in the revived, new 'Chrono' series is ready for PlayStation!" Could Square be intending a whole new string of games in the Chrono series? Travel across time and multiple dimensions certainly leaves enough room open for a massive variety of plots and premises.
Sadly, three of the main staff members from the original Chrono Trigger will not be involved with Chrono Cross. Akira Toriyama, who did the character designs for CT, will be replaced by Nobuteru Yuuki, whose art can be seen in the Artwork section. Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi is wrapped up with the Final Fantasy Movie, and scenario planner Yuji Horii is currently working on Dragon Quest VII. Fortunately for us, Yasunori Mitsuda, the music composer for Chrono Trigger and Xenogears, will be back to do the music for Chrono Cross.
This is an exerpt from The GIA's coverage of how Chrono Cross' storyline is borrowed from an old Super Nintendo game that was released only in Japan a few years ago:
Thanks to a translation of Square of Japan's newly-opened Chrono Cross webpage, tantalizing new details concerning the game's storyline and staff members have surfaced. Much more surprising, however, is the news that Chrono Cross appears to borrow much of its core storyline from a Super Nintendo game titled Radical Dreamers, released only in Japan three years ago.
According to videogames.com, a Square title called Radical Dreamers was released for the Super Famicom's Sattelaview, a short-lived peripheral add-on. Square released four titles for the add-on in total. Masato Kato directed and wrote the game, and composer Yasunori Mitsuda scored the music. A "multiscenario digital novel," Radical Dreamers starred three characters known as Serge, Kid, and Gill. The trio ventured off to steal an item known as the "Freezing Flame" during the course of the game from a manor owned by Yamaneko. Serge, Kid, and Yamaneko are, of course, the three primary characters in Chrono Cross. Radical Dreamers reportedly also made allusions to the original Chrono Trigger's characters, dealing with their fates past the RPG's ending.
It's not clear whether or not Chrono Cross borrows Radical Dreamers' plot entirely, but the "story" section on Square's Chrono Cross website presents the following poem, loosely translated:
By the star's dream, cleansed of darkness, A future is born. However this is, just the opening for A new nightmare... Searching for legendary 'Freezing Flame', For dragon and human and fate, beyond dimensions, The final battle is about to begin... The star's dream has not yet ended...
The "Freezing Flame" line provides strong evidence that at least one major element from Radical Dreamers is incorporated into Chrono Cross -- and is perhaps even Serge's primary goal throughout his quest.
Thanks to The Gaming Intelligence Agency
for much of this information.
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